Friday, June 2, 2023

Summer Burn Out

 Listen to me... its June second and I've already had enough.  But let me tell you, we have had our share of summer already.  All week and really for the past two weeks it has been clear and sunny.  High eighties.  Dry.  There has not been a cloud in the sky for days.  All day today I felt on the edge of heat exhaustion and as we were working outside I had to take breaks every 20 minutes or so.  It may be 85 degrees in general but it is hotter in the gravel areas and the breeze, often as not, turned from cool and pleasant to a blast furnace as it shifted over the radiating rock areas.

As the cold front moves down from the north, we are getting a little bit of cloud cover and this afternoon when the sun finally passed behind a big cloud I breathed a sigh of relief.  What a difference. I have a lot of plants in the ground that are not well rooted and they have suffered and some are being real drama queens about it.  But they appear to be surviving.  You can't just dump water on them with unrelenting sun because you will cook them with steamy soil.  Applying shredded leaf mulch has saved a few things as well as giving them a good drink in the evening and again in the early morning.  My 500 gallon water tank was full when this started and I still have more than half a tank.

Monday I finally got my own tomatoes planted and then delivered plants to my Dad and friend Elsie.  They were absolutely gorgeous plants and Tuesday I actually felt depressed from the let down of getting out from under the responsibility, receiving the compliments and then moving on.  I gave a few more away to a neighbor and planted an extra myself.

The sweet corn is loving the heat and I went through and thinned the extra plants and side dressed with fertilizer.  Last night the pole beans emerged.  I went out this morning to find a row of little bean plants where just the evening before there were none.

The peas will soon be blooming.

The cucumbers, cantaloupes and summer squash absolutely love their little row cover shelter and shot up immediately.  They are beginning to get their first true leaves and can be transplanted sometime next week.

The broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages look amazing and we already have little broccoli florets.  They are remaining cool under the insect netting and are being watered every other day.

The butterleaf lettuce (under shade cloth) is OK so far and hopefully the cool weather next week will prolong their season enough to enjoy more of the harvest.

The pepper plants have been scorching.  Pure and simple. I put shredded leaves under them to help cool their roots.  They look happier in the mornings but have basically been sitting there in stunned silence for two weeks.  My moisture meter has come in handy to help me not drown the container plants.  They're stressed enough already without being loved to death.

The celosia in the firepit clings to life.  Celosia don't transplant well because they are not quick to root in.  I pulled one that was a goner and will replace it in the cooler weather. These are another thing that looks very hopeful in the mornings and then as the afternoon wears on becomes a worrisome sight.

Another thing that will need replacing is this Marigold that got Chomped off and spat right back out.  "That's right!  It tastes nasty.  That'll learn ya."  Deer repellent works but deer are slow learners. And this deer apparently does not have a very sensitive sniffer because she keeps tasting smelly things on her nightly trip up the sidewalk.

Luckily I have some spares hanging about.

The full tray is the winter sown Sahara Rudbeckia seedlings.

Not everything is doom and gloom, hanging on by a thread.  There is a lot of color around, and more established plants are quite happy.

Even the combination pots

There are irises

Bearded irises

and Siberian irises

Bright pops of color that so far (knock on wood) the deer have left alone.

Caesar's Brother Siberian Iris

Callie's Memory Itoh Peony

beautiful from every angle

Southern Charm Verbascum

Some apples survived the hard freeze

And the strawberries are looking spectacular.

1 comment:

  1. Hang on! We did not get any rain yet today, but it's supposed to be about 70 for the next week. Way too dry for this time of the year.